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Illegal Patronage Probe Snares Ky. Gov. [Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher....]
Yahoo ^

Posted on 10/13/2005 11:28:42 AM PDT by Sub-Driver

Illegal Patronage Probe Snares Ky. Gov.

By MARK R. CHELLGREN, Associated Press Writer 3 minutes ago

For the past few months, Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher has been doing just about everything he can to fend off a criminal investigation into alleged political hiring-and-firing by his administration. But the investigation has steamed on, and appears to be getting closer to Fletcher himself.

Eleven current or former members of his administration have been indicted so far in the probe by Kentucky's attorney general. And while there has been little or no evidence to publicly connect the governor to any wrongdoing, his efforts to thwart the investigation — including his refusal to testify and his issuing of a blanket pardon to anyone charged — appear to have done grave damage to him politically.

The first-term governor's approval ratings have sunk, and he has become isolated from other members of the GOP.

"You've got to wonder at what point it becomes a death spiral," said Michael Baranowski, a political science professor at Northern Kentucky University.

Prosecutors have accused Fletcher's administration of handing out jobs on the basis of political affiliation, in violation of a 1960 Kentucky civil service law.

According to court records: A transportation department inspector was fired for supporting Fletcher's Democratic opponent in the last election. A former Democratic lawmaker was supposedly given a highway job for supporting Fletcher. And the nephew of a GOP official was hired instead of someone more qualified.

Attorney General Greg Stumbo, a Democrat, opened the investigation in May after a veteran transportation employee showed up on his doorstep with mounds of e-mails and documents.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Kentucky
KEYWORDS: crony; hack; meirs; patronage

1 posted on 10/13/2005 11:28:44 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
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To: Sub-Driver
Attorney General Greg Stumbo, a Democrat

Seems the Ronnie Earle virus might be spreading.

2 posted on 10/13/2005 11:33:37 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (I'll try to be NICER, if you will try to be SMARTER!.......Water Buckets UP!)
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To: MNJohnnie

Government is the most corrupt system in the world and those in it today keep it staying that way. Don't tell Lou Dobbs this.

3 posted on 10/13/2005 11:50:11 AM PDT by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: edcoil

"Republican governor" in the first line of course.

Fletcher had once been talked about as a potential presidential candidate. No more, I guess. Too bad the GOP waited 40 years before winning the governorship in KY. I hope they don't have to wait another 40 after Fletcher leaves, assuming he does not run again in '07.

4 posted on 10/13/2005 12:18:35 PM PDT by TNCMAXQ
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To: Sub-Driver

It is amazing to me that a Republican governor cannot appoint Republicans.

5 posted on 10/13/2005 12:42:33 PM PDT by rushmom
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